As I discussed last week, this past weekend was a bit of a National's Marathon for a good deal of Europe. Here is some of the notable results and happenings...
Italy: Faiella and Scali won with Cappellini and Lanotte right behind. National scores tend to be inflated but Federica and Massimo's scores where right in there with the best in the world; about on par with what Belbin and Agosto have produced. Contesti skated to an easy victory. The big news is Carolina Kostner was unable to beat Valentina Marchei for the title. The plot thickens as Kostner's L.A. meltdown last season only provided one Olympic berth for Italy...??? Both ladies will be at European's...this might get scrappy!
Germany: Stefan Lindemann won as expected but he surprisingly had to come from behind to do it, third after the short he had to sweat it out against Peter Liebers. Both will compete at the European Championships. Savchenko and Szolkowy opted to not compete in Mannheim.
Sweden: Viktoria won the battle of the Helgesson's defeating Joshi. Kristoffer Berntsson bested Adrain Schulteiss in the men's division. That was hotly contested as Sweden only gets to send one guy to Vancouver. Both will be at the European Championships.
Czech Republic/Slovakia: Michal Brezina continued his breakout senior season with a win over Tomas Verner. Brezina bested Verner by just over 20 points.
Finland: The ladies competition unfolded as most predicted with Laura Lepisto slipping in for the win with Korpi behind in second. Pöykiö could only manage the bronze. All three women will compete at the European Championships.
France: Ice Dance newbies Carron and Jones won their first French National Title. However, neither reigning National Champs Pechalat and Bourzat or 2008 World Champs Delobel and Schoenfelder competed. Only two Olympic berths open for France in Ice Dance. James and Bonheur defeated Canac and Coia for the Pairs title. The French men continue to be wildly unpredictable this season. Joubert opted to not compete. Florent Amodio came out on top managing to get past Yannick Ponsero. Preaubert who looked great at Skate Canada only managed the bronze. Two Olympic berths open for the men and it's still up in the air who besides Joubert will get in? Some are reporting that Amodio gets the ticket to Vancouver. Did the French Federation make that decision before European's?